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Back to school with Queen Margrethe of Denmark

It is said your education helps prepare you for your future career even sometimes defining what that should be. But, when your parents are in line to be the monarch, and as it was in the case of Queen Margrethe, the first female monarch since the end of the fourteenth century, education is very important.

Margrethe was born in 1940, and attended a private school in Copenhagen, N Zahles School. The school was named after its founder Natalie Zahle at was at that stage a girls only primary school which was intended to be the first step for girls who wished to become teachers. Both of her younger sisters, Princess Benedikte and Queen Ann-Marie of Greece also attended the school.

She graduated from the school in 1959, and spent a year at North Foreland Lodge in Hampshire, England. The school was originally at North Foreland on the Isle of Thanet in Kent, however in 1947 the school relocated to Sherfield Manor in North Hampshire. It was a girls only boarding school, Queen Margrethe returned to the school in 1981 to open a new music wing.

Following her year at North Foreland, Queen Margrethe studied prehistoric archaeology at Girton College in Cambridge between 1960 and 1961. This was clearly a subject close to her heart, as she also became a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in London. This society is a foremost authority on archaeology especially of the UK, and has extensive records as it was formed at the beginning of the eighteenth century after one or two earlier false starts.

The Queen then took an educational route which was probably more designed for when she would inherit her father’s throne. Between 1961 and 1962, she studied political science at Aarhus University in Jutland. The university is the second oldest in Denmark being formed in September 1928, and it is regularly in the Top 100 of universities across the globe. Following her time at Aarhus, she attended the Sorbonne in Paris in 1963 and returned to England in 1965 to attend the London School of Economics.

One of the major duties of a monarch is to both receive foreign dignitaries, and go on return state visits and so an ability in languages is extremely useful. Queen Margrethe is fluent in Danish, English, French, German and Swedish, and in addition can speak a little Faroese. It is also said that she participated in a Danish translation of “The Lord of the Rings”.

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